Join Tom Stolmar and friends in celebrating the release of his new poetry collection, Vexation, Amplitude.
Long overdue, this collection of Tom Stolmar’s poems bottles his impulse-driven barely containable talent for stringing words together that convey unexpected emotional truths laced with comedy of the highest and lowest orders. In some poems, Stolmar appears to have channeled Wallace Stevens by way of a mad Hungarian street performer on the San Francisco waterfront. His antics attract a crowd. Stick around and he will bring you gales of much-needed laughter and just before the rain starts, move you to tears.
Tom Stolmar’s Vexation, Amplitude is one of the more aptly named poetry collections that I’ve read this year because, again and again, it describes perplexing human oscillations at apex. The work is that of a writer puzzling his way through transitions – of language, of art, of meanings, of eras, of aging, of bonds and breaking bonds. The poems flip tones, and topics, and approaches, and directions, but Stolmar remains on edge, or on the edge, throughout. This is a book from the edge, a familiar human edge of passion and self-doubt and plunging forward. The pieces vacillate from complex examinations of mind and self, “We draw inspiration/ from those who truly look/ at such a cost; time being infinite/ and your eyes the gesture of a clock…” to pure joyous wordplay. This is the work of a fella who’s been dedicated to writing for decades and it shows, and who has been known to do backflips in the middle of a reading, and that shows too.